“Stranger Things” is back. But the once charming horror series has become one of Netflix’s flagships, which has to iron out the streaming provider’s other problems. Unfortunately at the expense of the enjoyment of the series.

“Stranger Things” is back, now in its fourth season. But enjoying the series is no longer as easy as it was in previous seasons. This is not only, but mainly due to: Netflix. Because “Stranger Things” is one of the series of the current year, which was probably one of the most eagerly awaited. From fans, but also from those responsible for Netflix, who are confronted with falling user numbers as well as with increasing competition from Prime Video, Apple and Co.

So now the fourth season is exploited to the maximum. This time it even goes so far that this series, which actually belongs together, is published in two parts. Once the episodes 1-7 at the end of May and the beginning of July, the final episodes 8 and 9. Dramaturgically, this doesn’t seem to make any sense with a season that belongs together. But financially yes.

Of course, with two release dates, the series will be talked about longer, more merchandise will be sold, more media reports will be published. The Netflix flagship has to outbid the streaming provider’s recent weak productions, bring in money for new productions, and attract subscribers. Unfortunately, as a fan, you notice that.

In its first season, it was a likable horror series about a bunch of American kids who have supernatural things happening to them. Then it became a worldwide success. Since the series largely takes place in the 80s, it was not uncommon for viewers to feel retro nostalgia. Back then, when everything seemed to be much simpler and there was no climate crisis or later the corona pandemic. The 80s were romanticized and were good for escaping everyday life. This time, too, the series catapulted an 80s song to the top of the iTunes charts in the USA, which probably only a few people had on their screens.

But the now expensive-looking animations and eye-catching effects are gradually displacing the actual character of the series, which should have been the attraction for many. A spin-off series is already being discussed: “We have an idea for a spin-off that we are very excited about… but we haven’t told anyone about the idea, let alone written it,” said the creators Matt and Ross Duffer the US portal “Variety”. “We think everyone, including Netflix, will be surprised when they hear the concept because it’s very, very different.”

At the latest when there are supposed to be spin-offs from a successful series, it is clear that it is no longer about the actual story or the fans, but above all about: money.

Additional source: “Variety”